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It’s an all-too familiar scene that has played out yet again. This time an unarmed Black man was shot by two Milwaukee cops who claim they mistook his cell phone for a gun.
Jerry Smith Jr, 19, was shot after police ambushed him on a rooftop, Milwaukee news station TMJ4 reported. Smith is now suing the city and filed a federal civil rights lawsuit.
Body camera footage obtained by the station show that Smith was being compliant and spread his arms and fingers when asked by police. He then tried to get on the ground before police took a hit, injuring his right leg, leaving Smith with permanent partial paralysis in his right leg, the station reports.
The incident occurred on August 31.
“I really don’t know why they shot me. OK, I ran, but the officer scared the hell out of me, man,” Smith said.
Smith explains that he fled onto a roof, where he was confronted because he reportedly fit the description of a man they were pursuing, Fox6Now reported in November.
The video shows Smith raising his hands, and then lowering them. The officer who was holding his gun then fired three shots. One bullet grazed Smith’s head, narrowly missing his brain, the outlet reports.
Smith disputed the claim that he was carrying a gun. He said he was holding his cellphone and was trying to call his mother.
Both officers still have their jobs and have been placed on administrative duty.
The body camera footage comes from officer Adam Stahl, who along with officer Melvin Finkley have been named in the suit.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern contend that the officers were justified in the shooting.